PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Twenty-three states have legalized doctor-prescribed marijuana in limited cases.
And with Gov. Tom Wolf’s support, Pennsylvania could join the trend.
“There are parents desperate for this help, and frankly, it’s about time,” Pennsylvania Sen. Camera Bartolotta, a Washington County Republican, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Friday.
After the state Senate passed S.B. 3 nearly a year ago, it was blocked in the House, but now House Majority Leader Dave Reed has scheduled a vote on legalizing medical weed.
“We’re not there yet,” said Pennsylvania Rep. Dan Miller, a Mt. Lebanon Democrat. “I don’t take anything as done, but I am pleased to hear that we’re likely to vote on this in a couple days.”
It comes after intense lobbying by families like Heather Shucker, of Valencia, whose daughter, Hannah, has severe epilepsy with multiple seizures daily.
“To see her suffer every day is pretty hard to deal with,” says Shucker.
Cannabis oils, says Shucker, reduce the seizures.
Joe Mert of Carrick has multiple sclerosis.
“Very painful and hard to manage,” he said. “I’ve found through cannabis, I have relief.”
Support to legalize medical weed cuts across party lines.
Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Guy Reschenthaler, a veteran, says it helps with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“It’s real. This is something that is going to afford them relief, and it should be an option that a physician has to a veteran suffering from PTSD,” says Reschenthaler.
Sen. Bartolotta says the limited measure means you can’t get high.
“There’s a lot of these medicinal oils, tinctures, and vaporizations that have zero THC, which is the euphoric aspect of cannabis,” she says.
In other words, the bill does not legalize smoking a joint.
The House will take up consideration of this bill on Monday, and passage cannot happen any sooner than Wednesday.
If you feel strongly about medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, now is the time to contact your state House representative.